Szczesny going for gold at Norwich

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Wojciech-Szczesny

Wojciech Szczesny says he’s targeting a final clean sheet of the season against Norwich City that would secure him the Premier League Golden Glove award.

The Pole has 16 lock-outs to his name so far, the same number as Petr Cech, but with the Chelsea keeper ruled out for the final game of the season the Arsenal number 1 has the chance to pick-up a personal accolade that would top-off a fine year between the sticks.

Speaking to Arsenal Player after yesterday’s 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion, Szczesny said:

“I think I’m level with Cech, and I must admit it was in my head for the last 10 or 15 minutes of the [West Brom] game and I didn’t want to concede.

“We’ve had a fantastic defensive record at home and we kept it going here. That’s something that we want to keep next season. If I win the Golden Glove I would love it but it doesn’t matter right now.

“We knew that we didn’t have to win this game but I think it’s always better to leave on a high. The fans are going to go home happy and it’s a good taster before the FA Cup final.

“That’s what it’s all about now. We want to prepare for the cup final, obviously we’ve got the Norwich game, which we want to win. But we want to focus on winning the trophy for the fans because they’ve been incredible for us this season and they deserve the trophy.”

Should he play against Norwich on Sunday it’ll be the second time in three seasons that Szczesny has played every Premier League game; an impressive record given he’s only 24.

He was of course dropped for a couple of months last season but the competition with compatriot Fabianski has driven him to new levels of consistency since. Will he get a start in the FA Cup final? We’ll have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, Per Mertesacker says the Gunners must maintain their intensity going into the FA Cup final recognising the importance of momentum at this stage of the season. Ahead of next weekend’s dead rubber game with Norwich, the German has called on his teammates to train and play hard.

“I think everyone is really up for the cup final and everyone really wants to win it,” the BFG told Arsenal Player. “That is the target and we’ve got one game to go and we want to take it very seriously.

“When you switch off, it’s hard to switch on again so we want to keep the focus and intensity high in training. But as you know everyone is looking forward to the last game and even more to the FA Cup final.”

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Gooneron

And may gold be with him.

Runcorn Gooner

Saw from the Official stats that Chessers made the 5th highest number of saves in the Premier League this season.Other keepers were from the bottom 3 teams plus Speroni at CP.
Does this mean that he has not had good protection this season or lies,lies and statistics.

Desi

For that you should find out the saves to shots percentage. As for cover by the defenders, the total number of shots allowed might help in comparison, but this is a very difficult point to make out just from these basic stats

Subeyr

My OPINION, Fabianski should start the fa cup final for obvious reasons .

Bring on the Cup!

What are the obvious reasons??

Atletico Islington

Well the most obvious reason is that he’s been brilliant in virtually every game he’s played this season.

Clock End Mike

And so has Fabianski, wouldn’t you agree?

Anon

The other reason is his brilliance brought us there in the first place and it would be quite poor form to drop him for presumably a final shot at glory with the club.

For a club famed in its faith in youngsters and class, I think it would only be obvious.

jack jack jack

I love Fabianski, and he’s been brilliant thus far, but he’s leaving at the end of the season. It would be a shame if Szcz is the only player here next season who wasn’t a part of the first silverware for 9 years. I think he’d be gutted to miss out on that.

Alf

Not as gutted as Fabianski would be as it was his penalty heroics that got us there!

welshman

“I love Fabianski, and he’s been brilliant thus far, but he’s leaving at the end of the season”

So should Jenkinson start ahead of Sagna?

jack jack jack

Do you think Fabianski is a far, far better goalkeeper than Szczesny? Thought not.

Serge

yeah but Jenko is not up to the same quality as the RB beast named Sagna, whereas Sz > Fab

welshman

Jack & Serge – Ability was not the question, as only a blind man would say that Jenks is better than Sagna. However if we play SirChesney because Fabianski is leaving, then why should Sagna play?

My view is Fab and Sagna should start. Fabianski was instrumental in getting us to the final, and would be shitty not starting him.

jack jack jack

Sagna should start because he’s the far better player and we want to win the FA Cup.

The same does not apply for Fabianski re Szczesny.

What is so hard to understand about this?

Gnabry cornflakes

Start Fab in the final and when it’s won (or not) bring on chesney as a sub, sorted

AFCEdwards

He’ll have Diaby for company.

Up4grabs

Why should Diaby get to come on?

Giving him that spot takes away from players who have actually contributed towards us getting there/ contributed to our season.

WindyCityArse

It’s way more important to give our number 1 keeper a taste of winning things than Fabianski who is leaving the club anyway…. Unless he signs da ting.

Yankee Gooner

Great honor for him if it happens, but surely being part of the Three Great Away Dismantlings has to count for something?

Mpls

It does; 9 points dropped and thousands of comments from supporters bashing the team off topic.

He could walk the perimeter of the training ground chanting and flogging himself bloody, but I still don’t think it would stop.

Quaid

I’m sorry but to blame the GK for those 3 away games is just silly. Sure, MAYBE he could have done better on a few of the goals but the majority were created by horrible defensive mistakes in the midfield and defense.

Oluwapunkey

Go for it….

remember the invincibles

certainly felt like we switched off yesterday, especially offensively. I just
hope we thrash hull city at Wembley.

SB

Bring the cup home. COYG

Arsenal-Induced Heart Attack Survivor

I’m going to be very mad if we win by 70 goals to 1.

ontheup

If we win by that score and Chelsea lose we get third place.

Fluffy

Come on let’s be realistic here… Chelsea will more likely play for the 0-0 draw.

Mootilated

Seriously though. How many goals do we have to score should Chelsea lose?

lucky luke

If Chelsea lose 1-0 we need to win 18-0 to grab 3rd 🙂

Rufusstan

If Chelsea go down 1-0, then 17.

— We’d be on equal goal difference, but will have scored a shitload more goals at that point.

Arsepedant

In general terms, we must win, Chelski must lose, we must overturn a -18 goal difference, and we must outscore Chelski on the day by four or more goals. If the first three things happen, then the last is automatic. So if Chelski lose 0-1, we need to win by 17 goals. If they lose 0-2, a 16-0 or 17-1 win would do it for us. Perhaps the easiest way for this to happen is if they lose 0-9 and we win 9-0. Piece of cake. I may even put a dollar or two on that.

akEem

They need to be very careful in FA cup final against hull city at list let win something th FA cup.

Up4grabs

Good point sir, all the Arsenal fans are actually talking like the cup is already won.

Never underestimate anyone, Man City didn’t learn from last year against Wigan hopefully we learnt from Birmingham 2011.

WengersNoseHair

So Szczesny can get the Golden Glove, Fabianski can play in the final. Sorted.

AN Other

I agree with that switching off thing. Look what happened to Bayern when they switched off after winning the league. We should be careful of that.

Also, 79 points would be the highest in long time. We have only got more points in 4 other seasons, 2 of which ended up in titles.

Momo (@MuhamLAD)

I’m feeling pretty confident about the FA Cup. As someone said a while back, it’s a completely different group (bar a few) to the squads that have failed to land silverware in seasons gone past.

DR

Not trying to bring too many people down but, doesn’t the collapse in the league worry you a little? When we got to the point where we were almost favourites for the league we just did the same thing again.

I thought we were past it too, and I’m still slightly worried but we do have most of our team back and it IS Hull so…

Arsepedant

And Hull’s two top scorers since Christmas (Long and Jelavic) are cup-tied and can’t play in the final.

bazza

It would be nice for schez but it should be golden gloves for the defence too who massively helped them clean sheets. Fabs deserves his place in the FA cup he has earned it on his fantastic performances esp the pen saves which took us to the final. Lets hope we win it and Fab stays at AFC “COME ON YOU REDS”

Mpls

They should cut the fingers off the gloves and give one to each of the defenders. Flamini’s got scissors.

Meh

“I would love it – LOVE IT – if he won the the golden glove.”

Meh

*Edit for misquote:

“I’ll tell you honestly, I will love it if he wins the golden glove – love it!”

I’ll get me coat…

raozila

Fab between the sticks for the FA Cup is well deserved, Szczesny can sit on the bench, atleast he will get a medal at the end of it plus the golden glove sorted 🙂

flappylegs

And the co commentator still slags him off during the West Brom game… doesnt even mention he has a great chance to win golden glove. I wish i could watch with no commentators and just the sound of the crowd, I guess I’ll have to travel to the UK for that and join you lovely gooners at the emirates :). Do they even let Africans in at the border these days?

Flambo

That last line is pretty ridiculous, can’t tell if its sarcasm over the internet.

cheeky boy

Delicately languid. Abou Diaby.

Henry! Chance!! Goal!!!

Yes they let Africans in. What type of comment is that flappylegs? Change your name to Flappybrians!

Highberry

Flaapy brians? Are they some kind of junk food?

Mpls

Dutch junk food?

bergkamp's hooped sock

What if… Fabianski starts, then Sanogo has to start. If Szcz starts, then Kallstrom has to start. Which one would it be?

santori

As rubbish as we were getting drubbings against some of our peer rivals this season, worth also noting that apart from opening day, we remained unbeaten at home.

santori

Fabianski should finish the mission and play the finals. He is the cup keeper.

Szsc is the league keeper. Even so, he will get a medal for the FA cup anyway.

I’m sure Wenger has come to that understanding in enticing both to stay with the club if possible.

Thought we may see Viviano in action final day to assess whether we should make a move for him in lieu of Fabianski but looks like that decision is already made.

Webbeldez

Flaapy Brians??

I’m sure thats a Cafe in Amsterdam…

santori

Between the Poles…

Szsc is more commanding coming out for crosses but I suspect Fabianski has a slight edge in terms of reflex stops.

bergkamp's hooped sock

Think they’re both equally good at reflex stops, maybe Szcz a little better. However, Fab is definitely the more agile of the two. Those leaping saves, Fabianski is slightly better at, dare say.

Donjo Mac

Enough of this sentimental crap. We think of these professionals as if it were us and our mates on a Sunday morning and thus “doing the right thing”. But where AFC are concerned its just a sign of weakness. And we have history here. Flamini played all the way to the UCL final but Wenger brought in Cole who simply left straight after. The following season we had a great talent in L Diarra but he was kept out if the side by said Mr Flamini who was at the time refusing to sign a contract. Rather than tell Flamini… Read more »

bergkamp's hooped sock

For Szcz to truly exorcise the demons of Birmingham 2012, he has to play his guts out right from match 1 till the finals, and then win the thing (fingers crossed, this happens next year). If we let Szcz play now in the finals, and if we win, we’d be robbing Szcz of a shot at catharsis. No catharsis without spilling blood and guts. Just for this reason alone, I’d have Fab play, and yes, he deserves it too.

Up4grabs

Birmingham February 27th 2011 not 2010 or 2012

Black Hei

Sometimes it is not all about science and logic.

If it is all about winning without emotional connections, nobody will want to watch football anymore.

12th Man in The Clockend

Thank the Lord. Couldn’t say it any better Donjo Mac.

Put it in black and white.

Chesney is our #1. This is a cup final – when would you ever consider your 2nd string goalie In a cup final match?

Fabianski wants to leave – why give him the experience of winning a cup then leaving our club. Fabs, you did brilliant getting us to the final. You can leave the club with your head high.

#Ches for the final

Javis

I firmly believe that SZCZ should start, we have bemoaned not winning a trophy for so long, the strongest team possible should start and that means SZCZ plays. Fabianski has done brilliantly but this is high level competitive sport.

Seaman was not picked for a cup run up to the final and then back in for the final. I suspect Wenger will do the same..

Ant Lester

Szczesny for keeper in the FA Cup Final.

Fabianski has been great. Thanks a lot pal. But I would hate for our #1 to be in next seasons changing room having not tasted the final. We need winners in the changing room. If Fabianski re-signed, fair play, but he’s choosing to leave, so forget him. of we’re 3-0 up, give him 15, but that’s it.

Glasgow_Gunner

I’m just hoping for no fuck-ups, whichever one starts. Both do hold a bit of previous for it in the past.

Dreaming of watching Arsene lifting the trophy above his head with a huge “Yessss” to the crowd. What a moment that will be.

WengersNoseHair

Gerrard just over-hit a long pass straight out for a goal kick. One of the commentators described it as ‘inches away from a great pass’. I would suggest his spectacles are inches away from being thick enough.

Penguin

All of you saying Fabianski shouldn’t start because he’s leaving… Do you want Jenkinson or Bellerin to play ahead of Sagna, then?

jack jack jack

Stupid argument. Sagna is our best right back by a mile. Szczesny is our first choice goalkeeper. The analogy doesn’t work at all.

EgyptianGooner

Actually we’re saying Scz should start because he’s number 1. He’s our best GK for a reason and you always want your best players to play in the cup final.

To be brutally honest, I don’t care that much who plays. I just want a fuckin cup…Don’t underestimate them boys. First 15-20 mins will be crucial.

DCgooner

Szczesny for me has been the best goalkeeper in the league. It feels obvious for me considering he is possibly going to have kept the most cleansheets in the league but i feel like not enough people have recognised the outstanding season he has had and use those games against Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool as reasons why hes not been good. I hope he gets that cleansheet, he deserves a bit of recognition for this year.

gammhunn

Agree, I think since he was dropped last year he has upped his game to the next level. The biggest change I see in him this season is he seems a lot more commanding in his area, which was something he certainly lacked in previous years. All one has to do is think back to what you would feel when the opposition had a corner (and we were 1 goal up) 2 years ago compared to now. There is certainly credit due to the entire defence, but Szcz has certainly delayed the heart attack at least until after the corner… Read more »

Spooney

What about Sagna?

Up4grabs

What about Kevin?

Yankee Gooner

Belated clarification–I certainly don’t blame Sczc for those losses…far from it. I just legitimately wondered if those results matter in determining who gets the award, but I see why my earlier comment seems like I’m taking a swipe at him. Unintended.

Black Hei

When called upon, Fab has done the job of the same standards as Scz. For those who accuse Fab of leaving, gimme a break, he is a backup goalie, not an outfield player, what do you expect of him?

I say stick with Fab in goal. It is the honourable thing. Sczh never gave a reason to be dropped throughout the entire season. Similarly, Fab did not give a single reason to be dropped in the Cup games.

Possession

This is the F.A Cup Final and a chance for silverware and the exorcism of demons past. Its quite simple in my opinion.
Wenger picks his strongest team that gives us the best chance to win and that must surely include Szczesny.
Szczesny

Sagna
Mertesacker
Koscielny
Gibbs

Arteta
Ramsey

Cazorla
Ozil
Oxlaide-Chamberlain

Giroud

Unfortunately The Ox and Gibbs look doubtful but with Podolski and Monreal as back up we look strong… ..very strong.

Szczesny for me.

AJ

Mourinho is trophyless!

Arsepedant

“I’ll quit if we don’t win trophies, you won’t have to sack me.” Jose Mourinho, 17 Aug 2013.

Lovely as it would be, I’m not holding my breath.

Nelson Vivas

Personally, I’d have Szczesny as my AFC player of the season. Along with Ramsey, he’s been our most improved player this season. We always knew he had the talent but he’s now added so much more to his game and has developed into a confident, efficient and reliable keeper. He’s rarely played a poor game this season, he loves the club and the stats, along with the potential golden gloves award, speak for themselves. He seems like someone that everyone enjoys having on the training ground too! Give the man a start in the final and as unfortunate as it… Read more »